Radio 52, side A, track 4: “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, #71 on The Top 90 of the ’80s

Michael Jackson - Billie JeanOh, Michael Jackson, I was wondering when you were going to show up on this countdown.  And now here you are.  And I’m guessing this won’t be the last of your songs we’ll hear on this thing.  I don’t think one can overstate how much of a pop juggernaut you were.  Besides my radio tapes, I didn’t really own that much music, but I did have a cassette tape copy of “Thriller”, which I listened to over and over and over and over again.  So I know this song pretty well.  But it’s been a long time since I’ve listened to it, and dammit, Michael Jackson, you just know how to make a crazy good pop song.

So when this song originally came out, I had to have been about 7 years old, and I’m pretty sure I heard it fairly soon after it came out, because my aunt (who I’ve recently mentioned) listened to this one.  I feel like I remember she had a poster of you posing with some white tiger cubs.  And I remember watching an interview of you with her, it might have been on “American Bandstand” or “Solid Gold” or “60 Minutes” or something, and I remember you were wearing a red shirt and I thought you were a woman.  And my aunt had to explain to me that no, you were not a woman.  And I remember that the interviewer asked how you kept your voice so high, and you said you ate a lot of fruits and vegetables.  That may have been why I avoided fruits and vegetables as a kid.  I hadn’t really thought about it until now, but I do remember being horrified that my voice could end up all high and squeaky like yours.  Obviously, 7-year-old me was pretty short-sighted, because if I had a voice like yours I’d be making some coin.  I’ve been eating a lot of fruits and vegetables the last few years, though, Michael Jackson, and I haven’t noticed any significant changes to my vocal range.  It’s still firmly craptastic.

I do remember when I was paying more attention to the lyrics when I was a little older that one of the lyrics was “The kid is not my son”.  But I gotta be honest, Michael Jackson, I never actually believed that those were the lyrics.  I mean, I heard them and everything, but I didn’t think that this song could possibly be about paternity issues.  I don’t know what I thought the song was really about, but it just didn’t seem like a subject that one would sing about, much less sing such a catchy, great tune about.

But yeah, that’s what this song is about.  And the person I feel bad for as I’m listening to it is that poor damn kid.  This is like watching an episode of the Maury Povich show with a better soundtrack and with less of the horror and guilt.  But seriously, Michael Jackson, did you have to bring the kid into this?  I get that his mom kinda forced your hand, but it’s not his fault.  And you KNOW when this song came out, she was all like “That song’s about you, baby!”  And over and over that kid’s got to listen to you saying “You’re not mine.  You’re not mine”.  Like on the Maury show.  I don’t know how much of it is real.  I hope to all that is holy that none of it is.  Because what an awful thing to see a line-up of men (and the fact that there’s a line-up in the first place is disturbing enough) each dancing a jig because they’re not your father while your mother flails around on the floor wailing and/or runs off screaming and/or attacks your would-be father(s).  In front of an audience.  On TV.  And they show your picture.  So when you’re older you can look back and say “Remember when nobody wanted me?”

Jesus, Michael Jackson, we went down a pretty grim road there, didn’t we?  Let’s hope your next song on the countdown (because there’s no way there’s not going to be another one) will cheer me up a little.

“Billie Jean”

<awesome Michael Jackson jam>

She was more like a beauty queen
From a movie scene
I said don’t mind, but what do ya mean I am the one

Who will dance
On the floor
In the round

She said I am the one

Who will dance
On the floor
In the round

She told me her name was Billie Jean
As she caused a scene
Then every head turned with eyes that dreamed of bein’ the one

Who will dance
On the floor
In the round

People always told me
Be careful’a whatcha do

Don’t go around breakin’ young girls’ hearts
Heeee
And mother always told me
Be careful’a who ya love

Be careful’a whatcha do

‘Cause the lie becomes the truth
Hey ay ay
Billie Jean is
Not my lover
She’s just a girl
Claims that
I am the one
Oh no
But
The kid is not my son

Woo!
She says I am the one

But
The kid is not my son

No no
Hee hee hee

For forty days and f’forty nights, law was on her side
But who can stand when she’s in demand, her schemes and plans

‘Cause we danced
On the floor
In the round

So take my strong advice
Just
Remember to always think twice

(Do think twice, do think twice)

She told my baby we’d danced ’til three
Then she looked at me

Then showed a photo, my baby cried, his eyes were like mine

‘Cause we danced
On the floor
In the round, baby

Ooo
Hee hee hee

People always told me
Be careful whatcha do

Don’t go around breakin’ young girls’ hearts
Heeeee
But she came and stood right by me
Just the smell’a sweet perfume
This happened much too soon
She called me to her room
Hey ay ay, Billie Jean is
Not my lover

Hoo!
She’s just a girl
Claims that
I am the one

But
The kid is not my son

No no no
No no
No no no

Billie Jean is
Not my lover
She’s just a girl
Who claims that
I am the one

But
The kid is not my son

No

She says I am the one

But
The kid is not my son

Hee hee hee

<awesome Michael Jackson jam>

She says I am the one

But
The kid is not my son

No no no

Ooo

Billie Jean is
Not my lover
She’s just a girl
Claims that
I am the one

But
Kid is not my son
No no no

She says I am the one

But
The kid is not my son

Woo

She says I am the one
Ya know whatcha did

She says he is my son
Breaking my heart, babe
She says I am the one
Billie Jean is
Not my lover

Billie Jean is
Not my lover

Billie Jean is
Not my lover

Billie Jean is
Not my lover
(Don’t, Billie Jean)
Billie Jean is
Not my lover

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5 thoughts on “Radio 52, side A, track 4: “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, #71 on The Top 90 of the ’80s

  1. Lynda says:

    Solid Gold?!?!! I haven’t thought of that show in ages! There are always awesome nuggets of nostalgia buried in your posts. Anyway – funny enough my kids now also ask if he’s a woman. Luckily they’ve never heard the fruits and veggies explanation for his high voice so they eat theirs happily. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. C L A S S I C ! (That’s all) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] same time, probably, I’d been recording this one off the Top 88 of ’88.  This was your second song on the countdown, and I’m guessing it probably won’t be your last.  But there’s only so much room […]

    Like

  4. […] around for that.  My point is, though, Michael Jackson, is that were it not for the multitude of songs that you have on this countdown already, I’d say you were robbed.  But since this is a […]

    Like

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